Many women in South Korea undergo breast-enlarging surgeries for further “beautification” of their bodies. However, the safety of breast implants was threatened on January 12, 2017, when a woman found silicone gel in her breast milk after her surgery in 2011. Although her son, who was breastfed for three months, showed no sign of harm being done, the health safety of breast implants is getting checked by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug safety.
A sticky solution was found in the son’s feces that failed to be erased with Clorox or detergent. The fact that the silicone implants leaked and was mixed with breast milk horrified women who received the same surgery. Although these circumstances are very scarce, the possibility of silicone melting into a baby’s milk may harm the child’s health later in his or her life.
The second shock the Korean society received is the time between the breast surgery and when the silicone was discovered. The victim of the implant leakage received her breast surgery five years ago, which was even before the birth of her son. What remains a mystery is why the leakage happened, and how the silicone remained in the woman’s break milk for so long. Consequently, the health of the mother is likely to be threatened as well, if the silicone could remain for an extended period of time inside her body. This could open up possibilities of leaking to other parts of her body as well.
However, other than the fact that the silicone was consumed by the son, the effect of breast implant leakage seems to be quite harmless to the mother herself. According to the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, ” . . . implant rupture is a relatively harmless condition, which only rarely progresses and gives rise to notable symptoms.”
Nevertheless, in a preparation of the small chance of further danger, it is best for women with breast implants to have check-ups in hospitals and take MRI tests frequently if they experience specific symptoms of leakage. Currently, the silicone in the breast milk is going under further investigation, and the Ministry of Food and Drug safety is planning to release more information about the chance of such leakage happening again.